The Early Brain Development Group - EBD

Department of Psychology

The Early Brain Development Group - EBD

Picture taken of tree brains
Photo/Illustration: Lars Morten Rimol

The Early brain development group (EBD) investigates normal and aberrant brain development throughout childhood and adolescence. The group's research is focused on brain structural development, structure-function relationships, and cognitive development within various domains, throughout childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. 
 
The group's main avenue of research is brain development in individuals born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) with very low birth weight (VLBW; less than 1500g).  Preterm birth is a significant perinatal health problem across the globe, associated with increased mortality and long-term morbidity, including motor, cognitive and behavioral difficulties, as well as reduced educational and professional attainment. The EBD group collaborates with the NTNU VLBW Life study and the EPOP study, using MRI technology to study brain structure in relation to brain function in a developmental perspective. In a series of publications, the collaboration with NTNU Life has documented deviant brain structure in individuals born preterm with VLBW, including regional reductions of cortical surface area, reduced volumes of subcortical brain structures, and aberrant regional patterns of cortical thickness. These structural deviations have been linked to measures of general intelligence, executive and verbal functions, and visuo-motor processing. The link between brain structure and compromised brain function in preterm birth is a main interest going forward for the Early brain development group. 

Another important area of investigation for the EBD group is cognitive development. A topic of interest is the development of processing speed and executive functions, such as working memory, and the relationship between these variables and general cognitive ability (IQ). The group currently uses electrophysiological measures (EEG) to study the relationship between processing speed and working memory in young and older adults, and plans are to subsequently expand these investigations to children and adolescents. Finally, the EBD group also takes an interest in the development of speech perception, functional brain asymmetry, and the role of cognitive control functions in speech processing.


Research assistant

Research assistant

External collaborators

International collaborators

International collaborators

  • Anastasia Yendiki, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School 
  • Susanne Weis, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Brain and Behaviour, Forschungszentrum Jülich